Are you looking for the best smart sprinkler controller? In this article we are look at top 10 sprinkler controllers that fit this category. The one that tops this list is Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller, Wifi, 8 Zone 2nd Generation, model Rachio 8ZULW-B, and the second runner up is RainMachine Touch HD-12. Let us quickly list them before looking at them individually;

Best Smart Sprinkler Controller


  • Weather Intelligent
  • Communicates with multiple local weather stations
  • Integrates with several SMART platforms
  • Can be accessed anywhere with Smart devices where there is internet
  • Can give you alerts, notifying you of the automatic adjustments
  • EPA WaterSense Certified, you can save up to 50% off your water bill
  • Easy to customize each zone according to plant, soil, nozzle, sun exposure, etc
  • Easy to program watering schedules depending on water restrictions in the area
  • Gives detailed water usage reports
  • Comes equipped with a rain sensor and soil sensor
  • Has terminal current sensors to alert you if your irrigation system has a problem
  • Supports master valve or pump delay
  • Retains memory when the internet is down
  • Can be used outdoors with use of an outdoor enclosure
  • Comes with 2-limited warranty


Best Smart Sprinkler Controller 2017 List


  1. Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller
  2. RainMachine Smart Wi-Fi Irrigation Controller
  3. Orbit Smart Sprinkler Controller
  4. Rain Bird Smart Irrigation Controller
  5. Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller
  6. Skydrop Smart Watering Sprinkler Controller
  7. Blossom Smart Watering Controller
  8. Hunter PRO HC Sprinkler Controller
  9. Hunter HC Sprinkler Controller
  10. Melnor Raincloud Internet Controlled Smart Timer


Runner-Up – RainMachine Touch HD-12
rachio vs rainmachine 2017

RainMachine Touch HD-12, Cloud Independent, The Forecast Sprinkler, Wi-Fi Irrigation Controller, 2nd Generation, 6,5 inch, Works with Amazon Alexa.


What Is A Smart Sprinkler Controller

When talking of a SMART sprinkler controller a distinction must be made between a basic wi-fi enabled sprinkler controller and an advanced or smart wireless sprinkler controller. Both are wireless, using the internet to perform their tasks. The SMART part is the ability to integrate with other SMART platforms such that the wireless sprinkler becomes smart, perform tasks like being a rain sensor, ability to diagnose problems in the pipeline etc!

In other words, going beyond internet connection capability. A smart unit must do more than just being able to be accessed via the internet for remote control. When choosing the best smart wifi irrigation controller it is important to look at what makes it to qualify as a smart device not just the ability to connect to the internet.

Another criteria that would make it the best is looking at its other features that are configured in the device. Here is a list of the features we should be looking at to qualify the best wifi sprinkler controller smart! The basic of all is it must be wi-fi enabled!

Weather Intelligence – Is the device weather intelligent to the extent that it can adjust watering schedules accordingly and depending on weather conditions.

App Accessibility – A good smart device should be accessible through a smart device like iPhone, android device, pc or laptop with any browser.

Control – You should be able to control your sprinkler system from anywhere as long as you have internet access. You should be able to access it from home, work, restaurant or away on vacation.

WaterSense EPA Cerfication – your device should be EPA Certified so that you may qualify for rebates if your municipality has that arrangement. You should not loose out. A WaterSense certified device has the necessary technology to ensure that you can save up to 50% (or more) water usage.

SMART Platforms Integration – Does your device integrate with top SMART platforms like Alexa, Nest, WINK, SmartThings, IFTTT, etc

Additional Features – Can it work even when the Wi-FI is down

User-Friendliness – Is it user friendly such that there isn’t a s tepp learning curve?

Interface – How is the interface?

Outdoor/Indoor Use – are there any restrictions as to where you can use the device. Can it be used indoors and outdoors?

Customization According to zones – Is it possible to customize each zone according to its needs? Soil type, plant type, sun exposure, etc

Reports – Does your device give you informative reports on your water usage and how detailed are they?

Accessories – Do you need any more accessories to make the device functional?

Zones Supported – How many zones does the device support? Is it expandable?

Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller

A Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller is arguably the best smart sprinkler for residential use or home owner because it is packed with almost everything a home owner needs to have control of their watering. It is WaterSense Certified. Rachio has an 8 zone and a 16 zone smart sprinkler models. There is Rachio Generation 1 and Generation 2, Gen 2 being an improvement of Gen 1.



Rachio Gen 2 8 Zone

8 Zone Sprinkler Controller


Rachio Gen 2 16 Zone

16 Zone Sprinkler Controller

One of the features of Rachio Smart Sprinkler 2nd Generation is that it is weather intelligent. It can communicate with your local forecasts and use the information you feed it e.g. zone, soil type, plant type, sun exposure, water restrictions, etc to automatically setup the best watering schedules.

It also integrates with most highly sought after SMART platforms enabling you to extend your smart home into your garden. It can integrate with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Nest, IFTTT, etc.

Rachio Smart Sprinkler, being the best yard sprinkler, you do save up to 50% off your water bill without compromising on the health of your plants. It is also accessible from your phone or any browser suing the Rachio app, giving the ability to monitor your yard from anywhere hence the ability to save water that much.

The Rachio 2nd generation smart sprinkler comes equipped with a rain and soil sensors. Which means you do not need to buy more accessories for more functionalities. However, Gen 2 does not yet have a flow sensor and you will need to buy it separately.

From the above, clearly Rachio has set the bar and this is what makes it ideal for a home owner or residential use. It is not yet the best product for contractors but for single users it is among the best in the market. It definitely makes it to the top of the Best Smart Sprinkler Controller 2017 List!

RainMachine Smart Wi-Fi Irrigation Controller

RainMachine Smart Wi-Fi Irrigation 2nd Generation Controllers are in 3 sizes. There is the RainMachine Mini-8 2nd Generation that controls up to 8 zones or 7 when using a master valve. RainMachine Touch HD-12 that controls up to 12 zones or 11 when using a master valve. RainMachine Touch HD-16 which controls up to 16 zones or 15 when using a master valve.



RainMachine Mini-8




8 Zone Sprinkler Controller


RainMachine Touch HD-12



12 Zone Sprinkler Controller


RainMachine Touch HD-16

16 Zone Sprinkler Controller

The Rainmachine sprinkler controller is easy to install. What makes a Rainmachine device one of the best smart sprinklers in 2017 is its ability to get data from renowned weather stations like NOAA.GOV, Metno, Forecast.io, NetAtmo, or Wunderground Personal Weather Station. With this feature is is able to calculate the right amount of water for your plants watering from precise, realtime weather information.

The ability to use precise and realtime weather information makes sure you use water as optimally as possible such that your water savings can go up to 80% giving you substantial savings on your water bill.

The Rainmachine sprinkler controllers have a WaterSense Certification assuring you efficiency and excellent performance. This also means you are eligible for a rebate, up to full cost of your device, depending on your local water agency.

What also makes a Rainmachine smart irrigation controller the best choice is has realtime monitoring from its iOS and Android apps. It has the ability to give you in-depth reports about water usage based on weekly, monthly or yearly consumption. With this apps you can contain to your irrigation system from any where you have internet access with your smart device or web browser.

A Rainmachine irrigation controller has a unique touch interface that will give you total control over your garden. From the interface you can start or stop a zone with a tap or speaking to it as it can integrate with SMART platforms like Amazon Alexa, Nest, WINK, SMARTThings via IFTTT, etc.

Orbit Smart Sprinkler Controller



Orbit 57946 B-hyve

6 Zone Sprinkler Controller


Orbit 57950 B-hyve

12 Zone Sprinkler Controller


Rain Bird Smart Irrigation Controller



Rain Bird ST8I-WIFI

8 Zone Sprinkler Controller


Rain Bird ST8O-WIFI

8 Zone Sprinkler Controller


Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller



12 Zone WiFi Sprinkler Controller



Skydrop Smart Watering Sprinkler Controller



SkyDrop 8 Zone Wifi-Enabled Smart Sprinkler Controller




Blossom Smart Watering Controller



Blossom 7 Smart Watering Controller



Blossom 12 Zone Smart Watering Controller


Hunter WiFi Sprinkler Controller

Hunter PRO HC Sprinkler Controller



Hunter PRO-HC PHC-600i Wi-Fi Controller

6 Station Sprinkler Controller


Hunter PRO-HC PHC-1200i Wi-Fi Controller

12 Station Sprinkler Controller


Hunter PRO-HC PHC-2400i Wi-Fi Controller

24 Zone Sprinkler Controller


Hunter HC Sprinkler Controller



Hunter HC-600i Smart Wifi Sprinkler Controller

6 Zone Sprinkler Controller


Hunter HC-1200i Smart Wifi Sprinkler Controller

12 Zone Sprinkler Controller


Melnor Raincloud Internet Controlled Smart Timer



Melnor Raincloud

4 Zone Sprinkler Controller



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